The irony of the juxtaposition of Gov. LePage’s latest speech (“LePage: State workers ‘corrupted by bureaucracy'”) with the wisdom and compassion of the Dalai Lama (“Dalai Lama, teenagers share views of nonviolence before Loyola crowd”) in the April 28 paper should not pass unnoticed.

Ignorance is not knowing, and the cure for that is learning. But the worst sort of ignorance is not knowing that you don’t know. For that there is no cure.

Using the word “corruption,” obviously without understanding its real meaning, only creates dissension and hostility rather than convincing your opponents of their “error.”

I fear that our governor will spend the next almost three years of his term trying to bully anyone who disagrees with him, as opposed to entering into a meaningful, respectful dialogue with others and, possibly, getting at least some of the more practical and interesting parts of his agenda accomplished.

As the U.S. Congress has aptly demonstrated, without consensus we accomplish little.

I fear our governor will complete his term bitter, unsuccessful and blaming his “enemies,” never recognizing his role in creating a hostile, adversarial atmosphere where no one listens to anyone and nothing gets done.

How very sad, both for him and for us all.

Judi Czimbal

Scarborough

Perhaps Gov. LePage needs to have his hearing checked. Perhaps he has a selective memory. Or perhaps he only listens to those who agree with him.

The governor recently whipped up his supporters by taunting the Maine Education Association (“Governor points to ‘corrupt’ workers,” April 27). After branding all state employees as corrupt, he claimed that he had challenged the MEA to step up to the plate on professional development for teachers but that he hadn’t heard from us yet.

Actually, the MEA has had numerous discussions with Education Commissioner Steve Bowen and the governor where we outlined our views for professional development and improving the profession.

The truth, which the governor tunes out, is that the MEA has spent tens of thousands of dollars of members’ dues improving the skills of educators over the last 20 years.

We conduct annual conferences at which pedagogical leaders provide training, and we provide mentors and support for those seeking certification by the prestigious National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

The MEA/NEA provides support for local projects such as the Priority School program at Carrabec High in North Anson and the self-governance initiative at the Reiche School in Portland, and we fund numerous grants to improve instruction in our schools.

One of the MEA’s primary purposes is to promote and advocate for professional excellence among teachers and education support professionals, and we take it seriously. We only wish the governor would do likewise and not play politics with public education.

Chris Galgay

president, Maine Education Association

Turner

So Gov. LePage leaves another mess — “corrupt” state employees? I don’t know what his spokeswoman gets paid, but probably not enough. The Romney campaign may want to recruit her.

Hal Henderson

Portland

Occupiers’ expenses paid by the people they deride

OK, let me see if I can understand this: Occupy Maine, or Wall Street, or whatever they are “occupying” these days, says that their real issues are capitalism, expensive college tuition and health care, homelessness, etc., and it is all the fault of the top 1 percent of wage earners.

Gee, just for the heck of it, I Googled “percentage of taxes paid by the rich,” and guess what? The top 1 percent of wage earners in American pay 37 percent of all taxes. The top 5 percent pay 59 percent of all taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of all taxes paid to the U.S. government!

And guess what percentage the Occupy Maine demonstrators pay? 2.25 percent!

So in other words, the top 10 percent of wage earners in America — those would be the people who are actually at work while the Occupiers are picketing them — are already paying for the Occupiers’ food stamps, their public housing, their medical expenses, their EBT cards and everything else that they are not paying for but are receiving from the government.

So what is it they want? Has it ever occurred to these people that if it weren’t for capitalism, if it weren’t for the top 10 percent of taxpayers in this country, they would actually have to work for a living? And pay for everything that they now get for free?

Oh wait, I forgot, this is all George Bush’s fault. And the GOP’s fault. Now I get it.

Robert Cott

Portland

The Riot Crew team credit to city, school in St. Louis

As many of you know, the First Robotics Team of South Portland High School, The Riot Crew, won the regional competition in Manchester, N.H., in March and earned the privilege of competing at the national championship April 26-28 in St. Louis.

We needed to raise $35,000 in six weeks. We did it! And it was done thanks to the community. There are a few businesses that gave money and resources and time to our fundraising. We are very thankful to them.

Many of the funds, however, came from individual people in our community. An amazing show of support.

So, to all of you, a giant “thank you.”

The students represented the community, their school, the team and their families very well in St. Louis. They were a pleasure to travel with.

Not to mention, out of 100 teams on our field who were there from all over the world, they came in seventh. Impressive when you know those other teams also earned the privilege to be there.

Again, thank you to everyone who showed support for The Riot Crew.

Kandi-Lee Hoy

South Portland